Redbones Barbeque

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Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque
154 Ratings
Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque

Type: Bar, Eatery

55 Chester St
Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144-3001
United States

(617) 628-2200 | map

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Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 116
Photo of constantpain
2.2/5  rDev -47.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

I recently went with a friend to check the place out since everyone was raving about it. I went in and it looked like a cafeteria. I gave it a chance. The appetizer we ordered tasted like stale fried dough. I ordered the dish where you get one of all the BBQ styles. But it didn't taste that good. I've had better BBQ before in other places.

I ordered a beer and they didn't have it. I ordered another one, and they didn't have it. I think it was a Stone. Finally I did find one they had. But the people who served the beer didn't seem to know who ordered it.

Overall, it was quite a horrible experience. I would not go back there. The beer selection seemed good on the menu, but unfortaunately I wasn't able to try them.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Truly one of the most over-rated places ever. Let's be sure to split this into two distinct reviews. Their beer list is nice and if you are ONLY looking for a quality beer and are standing out front. Fine, pop in and only order a beer. However, in a world of choices as a whole this place is nowhere near a great option. The BBQ claims to be authentic and isn't even close. Let's just say I asked if they had NC vinegar style sauce...... the waiter literally brought me cider vinegar. just cider vinegar. Go elsewhere for food & beer

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Photo of Trailmix242
2.93/5  rDev -29.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Was at Redbones recently and was a little disappointed. This was the second time I had been there and found the service pretty lacking. They do make a consistent BBQ with some interesting items you will not find elsewhere. Beer selection is always pretty good with the current taps listed on a chalk board and it is frequently changed and updated. Now when it comes to pours is where they really rip you off. I do not think a single beer I got or others in my group got were filled. On some of the Belgian beers which were served in chalices the head of the beer did not even make it to the 25cl line and the beer cost $7.50! The bartenders were not attentive at all either and seemed like they did not want to be bothered. Will I go again probably since some of my friends like it but it will not be my suggestion.

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Photo of jwps214
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of Davepoolesque
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of HT75
3.43/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Redbones is a haunt. That's the best way you can describe the joint. It's an easy walk fron the T station at Davis. There is an amazing beer selection for such a tiny place. And they have a wheel if you don't know what to have. The staff isn't professional in any sense, they just do what they have to. But they are usually very friendly so they get extra points The beer is expensive, however, as the pours seem to be short., so don't plan on spending the evening just there. The bar also is very small, so you may not even have a chance to sit down some nights. It's one of the few BBQ joints around, so it makes dining better than a lot of beer bars. However, I but a 3 for food because people should know that the BBQ is considered sub par by anyone that knows their BBQ. That's not just my opinion. But its BBQ. It would be considered the quality of national chain pizza up against something from the North End of Boston. it won't hold a candle to the good stuff, but it'll satisfy a craving for BBQ. I just want to make that clear because I've sent people there for the beer and they've been ticked at me because of the BBQ.
Anyway a fun place.
I like to add, been there multiple times, so it isn't a one experience review.

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Photo of bkett01
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Redbones BBQ is hard to find and even harder to park near. After reading reviews and checking out the website, I headed there expecting to be amazed. The only thing that lived up to the expectations was the beer selection.

I went on a weekend night so the place was mobbed. The staff that seats you is probably the most unorganized bunch I've ever run into. I had to keep going back to see where my name was on the list, and a couple times they couldnt' find it and acted as if there was nothing they could do. Once seated, the waitstaff was attentive, and even with the huge crowd, the food came out very quickly.

For a big BBQ place, the nearly $20 plate of baby back ribs was very dry and tough to get through. Ribs I've had at the bigger chains (Outback & Texas Roadhouse) were far superior to these and less expensive. If I go back to this place, it would probably be for a weeknight trip to the bar. Once again, the one thing I do reccommend this place for is the nice rotating beer selection (they keep it on a giant chalkboard since it changes so much).

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Photo of joebrewer
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I had lunch here to celebrate their 7 casks in 7 days event. They listed 2 casks on the menu when I was there, but after ordering a black and tan from Berkshire on cask that was really strange, I realized that they only had one cask on tap and just served me a scotch ale instead of what I ordered. My scores would have been higher if this mix up didn't take place.

Selection: St. Barnadus 8, Berkshire scotch ale (cask), Founder's Breakfast Stout, 60 min IPA, Sixpoint, etc.

Food: Good BBQ for Boston, it would be average if it was down south or out west.

Service: waitresses couldn't answer questions about either the food or the beer.

Value: reasonable.

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Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Parking in Union Square sucks. A lot.

The crowd is a primarily young but fairly diverse mix of hipsters, punkers, and college students. Downstairs has some impressive, colorful artwork of gremlins, pirates, and babies with fire coming out of their asses that some one obviously spent a lot of time on. Your party gets it's own table if you sit down there. Upstairs are long lines of tables in which people you don't know sit next to you. Sometimes that's a fun idea. Other times (true story) you may be sitting next to the guy with whom you got in a fight with over a parking spot outside minutes before and that makes for a really awkward dinner.

The food is good for the area (I like it better than Roadhouse even when Roadhouse still had the smoker) but it's not like anyone from Texas or Tennessee will be impressed. For $8.99 you can get a pulled whatever sandwich with 2 sides and a slice of cornbread--that's not too shabby. For what it's worth the jerk pork is extremely inconsistent and sometimes will fine while other times it will set your mouth on fire.

They have a fairly large taplist (15ish?) and one cask. Despite often having obscure and sometimes rare beers, the drafts aren't very focused and can be unbalanced in favor of certain styles. They do have a good bottle list to make up for any discrepancies however.

While servers aren't uniquely personable or friendly they are very attentive and empty plates are immediately carried away and I've never had an issue with getting what I ordered.

I've been here a few times and the biggest compliment I can give it is the fact that I keep coming back.

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Photo of maybrick
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited on 6/21/2005. I was there at lunch time and not much of a crowd at the bar. I asked for a beer from the published list that I had never had before and well, had to send it back. It had an awful metalic taste and I think the lines needed cleaning. Anyway, a few minutes later with a Stone Ruination in hand, the manager came up with the new list for the day. Half of the taps the bar maid pulled were empty - this was fixed in about 10 minutes as kegs were change out. However, getting the first pull of hennepin suggested a mix of what was on tap before it. It wasn't good.

The food was outrageous though. I had the pulled pork sandwich and highly recommend the food. The bar maid was not only cute as could be but very nice as well.

Best beer was my dessert, Stone Chocolate Porter. Yummy with the white trash sundae!

If they fix thier taps - cleaned, purged of previous, etc I think this would be a great place.

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Photo of DNICE555
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I actually visted this place in October a couple days before Halloween on my way up to Salem,MA. Before I even walked in I noticed a red truck with some dummies set up in for Halloween... I love it. The service was decent. Nobody was overly friendly. The selection was pretty good. A nice chalkboard list of taps including a cask. I really liked that you could get a sampler which contains 5 samples. I love this especially in a bar with so many choices. I believe it was only about 8 dollars too. A good BBQ spot for food.

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Photo of Loki
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Holy overrated Batman.

Atmosphere: Dive joint with a good beer selection. I guess I could see how some could think this was good bar-b-que.

Quality: Good quality of beer. For some reason I expected more. Good, solid line of beers that appeared to be served correctly.

Service: Decent, nothing to write home about or complain about

Selection: Good, for a bar-b-que joint amazing, but for all the hype, disappointing. However, had I just stumbled in with no expectations I probably would rate the selection higher.

Food: 3.5 in my mind was generous, but I'm picky when it comes to bar-b-que. Chopped pork was a little tough and the spice on one was just overwhelming. You tasted nothing but heat. I expected much better.

Value: The prices were fairly reasonable.

I'm not sure I would go back. I would definitely give it a second chance, but it would have to work hard for anything past that.

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I visited RedBone strictly for its beer selection while the food came as a sidenote. The atmosphere is southern-BBQ-dive fa├žade with comforts for the uniquely Boston college crowd that surrounds Davis Square.

The bar, where I ate, is casual and clean and serves up the same fare and food as the dining room. The corn fritters came with real maple syrup, the nachos were hardy but not mushy, and the succotash was delicious.

The bartenders are local and polite, but not quite attentive enough for a beer-fool full of questions.

The beer selection is modest but well rounded with good variety in both its bottles and drafts. 2 Belgians, 8-10 micros, 4 Germans and a handful of schwill to pay the bills. I drank DeRanke Bitter, Fantome Pissenlit, Heavyweight Imperial Porter and Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss. I'm not sure Jason's concerns about dirty lines are still true, but I expect a bit less from draft Belgians to begin with and I'd never had DeRanke or Fantome on tap.

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Photo of seanwhite
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I Love Redbones! I was killing for some BBQ since moving up here from NC, and Red Bones hit the spot. We frequent this place often because of the awesome environment, delicious hot comfort food, beer wheel (you'll hear more about that later) and friendly staff.

While Redbones offers a dining area, we always sit at the bar upstairs. This, in my opinion, is where the action is. You may have to stay for a while before getting seats but I promise it's worth the wait.

What is this wheel you ask? It's a wheel of fortune wheel that lands on a number. This number corresponds with a beer (huge beer selection). You have to drink the beer you are given....while this sounds risky, it really makes it a fun experience.

The food is delicious.... I go between the pulled pork sandwich and the buffalo wings. The hush puppies are also to die for. They offer a million different ways to eat meat...what's not to love? Just go, trust me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I have been to Redbones three times and each time I've been underwhelmed when compared to other rib joints around Boston. Redbones is reputed to be the very best, but every time, I've received overcooked ribs that are dried out and burnt on the outside.

The beer selection is extensive, even featuring a cask-conditioned choice. There are a few macros, but the menu is geared to beer connoisseurs with a good variety of IPA's and Belgians and a smattering of others. Each time, I received a fresh beer with the proper glass.

I have found the service to be uniformly friendly and efficient.

So, in a nutshell, the beer is good to excellent, the food is over-stated and the service is good.

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Photo of jtk21351
3.71/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of commie
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I often like the eclectic beer selection that they have at this place, and they often change the beers that are on tap, so I get to try something new when I go there. I have been turned onto some very nice beers at this place. I went there last night and I was impressed with the selection. I have only rarely been served a slightly off tasting beer, and they are cool about replacing.

Sometimes the crowd that hangs out there is very friendly, and sometimes they are rather not too friendly. The place is too damn crowded to get comfortable sometimes, and they don't provide enough extra staff during the crowded times, so if you roll in there at seven on a friday night getting a beer is a chore.

I am slightly annoyed by the $4.25 instead of $4.00 for the beer. It makes it harder to leave a decent tip.

I used to like the spicy Jerk Beef, but they have changed the recipe, so that now it is so incredibly hot that it is inedible. I went back last night, and I had the brisket, and it was superb. My lady friend liked the shrimp that she had too.

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Photo of Truh
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Spent many a long evening drinking at Underbones with Quanya's crazy art splicing my eyeballs, and watching idiots ask for the dial-a-draft at the upstairs bar. Time was, Redbones had one of the most kick-ass tap lists in the greater Boston area. That's changed over the past few months to the point where I am much more inclined to stop in at either Christopher's or the Cambridge Common if I find myself in the area. Nevertheless, the barbecued hash and mac and cheese are a heart attack on a plate, and the chili is most excellent. Plus, they put on some of the best beer dinners in the area, particularly the "Stouts and Porters" one.

[edited on 6/19/08]

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Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

RedBones is a good stop for any food and beer enthusiast. The atmosphere is a pretty crowded restaurant with small tables and a busy feel. Usually packed and a ton of servers running all over the place. Quality of the food and beer is good, I have been satisfied with both on several occasions. Service is the only gripe I have with Redbones. Both times I went, it was fairly slow to get in and get food. The one time we asked for a split check, we literally had to beg the waitress and she was still very rude about it, it took more time for her to argue with us then to actually just split the check. Beer selection is always above average, a great taplist that covers all bases. Good locals and craft beer from around the country. Cambridge Brewing is usually represented well here. Food was awesome both times I had it, great ribs and pork dishes, as well as sides for the BBQ. On the pricier side for me (not sure how Boston residents feel).

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Photo of RKing44
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of gfreed
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Redbones is small, dirty, crowded, loud and busy but still worth the trip and the hassle. The food is decent and the beer list is deep and wide, both on tap and in bottles. The beer menu includes an ABV for every listing, which is quite helpful in choosing what to drink. Pricing by the pint is fair; small print on a table-top tent says that they will pour any tap beer into 10oz or 12oz glasses (with prorated prices) but you must ask the server. They've recently expanded their tap offerings from Sixpoint, too. Go early for best seating; otherwise be prepared to wait in the tiny entry or out on the sidewalk.

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Photo of jim102864
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Dropped in after the New England Real Ale Exhibition (actually stopped in for directions to NERAX first with plans to visit later). Average looking neighborhood bar with a large 60's era sign adorning the front of the building. Pretty beat up looking entrance and a simple, rustic appearance throughout the restaurant. Roughly a 20 foot long bar at the entrance with two TV's on, this time showing the Yankee - Mariners game, which given that this is Red Sox country and I'm a Sox fan, triggered the gag reflex...but I digress. A sign inside says "BBQ and Southern hospitality since 1987". Didn't try anything from the menu. Nice job with the St Bernardus Prior 8 on tap along with Houblon Chouffe and Scaldis all of which are not always easy to obtain on tap anywhere. If you can't decide on one of their 23 beers on tap, they have a "dial a draft" wheel to help you randomly select one. Bottle list is ho-hum, however, they did have Adventinus Wheat Doppelbock, Stone Runation IPA; Old Rasputin and a few other Belgians, so not altogether that bad. Bar got very busy on that Saturday evening in April . Very much a locals bar. Interesting matted and framed Postal Service team jersey signed by Lance Armstrong behind the bar. Next time I'll have to try the food. A bit out of the way of the city proper and not a place I would go out of my way to visit again unless I return to NERAX next year but one I would likely visit if I lived in the area.

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Photo of Dicers
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Our first stop of the evening (Friday night) and it was freaking packed. Stood in the super crowded bar while waiting for our table with barely enough elbow room to raise my beer to my mouth. Luckily, there was a Sixpoint draft event a day or so prior to our visit and many of their beers were still on. I ordered the super tasty Bengali IPA while we waited and before I was halfway thru my glass, we were seated. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich platter. Maybe I'm used to Q in the south, but this (the pork) was sort of a let down. Although it was tender and plentiful, it was rather bland. Do they even have a smoker here? I detected zero smokiness in the meat. The sides were a different story and sort of a redeemer. Some of the best potato salad I've ever had. The cornbread was fresh and the beans were delicious. I'll give 'em this though, the sandwich was huge. I was attacking it for quite a while and it didn't seem like I was getting anywhere. Service was very fast, friendly and attentive considering how crowded the place was. We also noticed the chalkboard with the tap list being updated each time a keg would kick and were also informed of the changes by our server. Glad I was able to check this place out.

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Redbones Barbeque in Somerville, MA
Place rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 154 ratings
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